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I love kayaking ♥️
I grew up in New York City in Manhattan and went to a private school for grade school, where we had regular sports such as baseball, soccer and basketball. I wasn't passionate about any of those and I couldn't run very well, as I’d get asthma from aerobic activities.
In high school, I went to a boarding school that used experiential learning as part of their environment-based teaching methods in the mountains of Colorado. It was the first high school in the United States to have a whitewater kayaking program, which they started around the late 50s.
I went there in 1990 and signed up for whitewater kayaking, because I thought that would be really cool. I'd never done it and had no idea if I was going to like it, but Colorado turned out to be a great place to learn. I was really lucky as the instructors and teachers at the school were some great kayakers and the music teacher at the time, Bobby Campbell, was an Olympic coach for the US whitewater kayaking team.
So I had this amazing training as a kid and fell in love with whitewater kayaking. It's not a particularly hard sport, but it requires balance and fortitude.
At the end of the day, you're just in a kayak on a river, doing everything by yourself. There's nobody there to hold you up. They're there to save you and help talk you through it, but if you fall out of a kayak or if you flip over, it’s on you to have to roll back up.
I slowly progressed and got better and came out of high school as actually a pretty fantastic paddler of quite hard water.
Straight out of high school, I went to Nepal and worked as a raft guide and safety boater. In the mid 90s it was kind of radical and pretty insane that I just got on the plane and did that.
[To be continued under ‘Support’ tomorrow]